Sports

Puyallup hot shots doom Gator boys

"While the Jefferson boys basketball team used clutch free throws to knock down Rogers 60-57 and the Federal Way boys needed all of Tui Avaava's 39 points, including five 3-pointers, to escape upset-minded Emerald Ridge 63-61, the Decatur boys team missed an opportunity to help everyone, including themselves, move up in the standings Tuesday with an 81-68 loss to No. 1 ranked Puyallup.Puyallup's 3-point shooting, and offensive put-backs during the rare miss, was too much for the Gators. Viking senior R.J. Barsh's long arms were able to corral the ball for second and third shot attempts. Barsh finished with 18 points, eight of those on tip-ins. Barsh hurt us the most on the offensive boards, said Decatur senior Brandon Parker. We tried to box him out but he was grabbing everything and their guards were blasting threes.Puyallup hit eight 3-pointers and shot 23 of 29 from the free throw line. Decatur had four 3-pointers and made 10 of 15 free throws.They were sure hitting their threes tonight, said Decatur coach Kevin Olson. Overall, I was pretty happy with our play, we just didn't rebound that well. Everytime we made a run they had an answer, whether it was a put-back, a three pointer or making free throws. It's always frustrating when you don't win, but I was happy with our effort. When Decatur starting point guard and aggressive defender Chad Bellessa was benched with four fouls less than a minute into the first half, the rest of the team had to pick up the intensity where Bellessa left off.A couple of our players stepped it up, Bellessa said. Brandon Parker and Luke Buol played well tonight, and Niko Nunogawa is a given. Niko plays well for us every night. Nunogawa scored 27 points and grabbed six rebounds, Parker scored 17 points, including two 3-pointers and Buol had 10 points. Decatur tried to counter Puyallup's offense with a full-court press, but the savvy Viking guards sliced and diced the defense with quick passes. The other Federal Way schools are getting some big wins, Olson said. We still control our own destiny but we need to put together some wins. "

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